Synopses & Reviews
"Galina's ingenuity in weaving together numerous mythological allusions and literary parallels is astounding. Apart from the Hellenic, Jewish and Arabic myths, she introduces references to popular legends and modern superstitions."—The Moscow Times
Iramifications has all the cheeky comedy of Ilf and Petrov with a touch of Gogolian barminess.
The central theme of Iramifications is the eternal misunderstanding between East and West. Misconceptions and the notion of identity are explored on a journey from Odessa to the symbolic Oriental city of Iram, via the complexity of friendship and the blurring of borders between fantasy and reality. Tales are woven, deserts are crossed, and battles are fought. East and West are worlds apart . . . or are they?
A resourceful shuttle trader from present-day Odessa tricks a tourist from St Petersburg into joining him on a business trip to Istanbul. The pair are cheated by their Turkish partners and give chase, becoming inadvertently embroiled in the theft of a precious stele from the local ethnographic museum. In pursuit of the robbers, the companions are transported back in time to the mythical city of Iram, where they are drawn into a world of dangerous court intrigues. Iram itself evokes the exoticism of The Arabian Nights, and the adventures that take place there are reminiscent of Mark Twains Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court. Eventually the hapless traders return to Odessa and the whole trip would seem to have been a bad dream, were it not for the presence of a certain white camel. . . .
The novel abounds in various references to the Bible and the Koran, to Sufi parables and European Occult history, which mix happily with the contemporary vernacular of the main characters, whose relationship is the key element linking all of the books settings and events.
About the Author
With ten novels to her name, Maria Galina is one of the most interesting authors among those who made their names in the turbulent 1990s. She is the leading exponent of "hyper-fiction," a popular new genre that blends fantasy and reality. She is also a prize-winning poet, a thoughtful critic, and a translator of English and American science fiction, in all of which she excels. After graduating from Odessa University in marine biology, Galina took part in several sea expeditions before taking up writing professionally in 1995. She has won numerous prizes for her prose, poetry and critical essays. She has been nominated for the Russian Booker and short-listed for the Russian Critics Academy Award.